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Old 08-25-2017, 12:44 PM   #1
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2018 Jeep Eco-Diesel VS 2018 Expedition?

I currently tow my 23 FC with my Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 V-8 Hemi. 90% of my towing is non-hilly and the Jeep tows like a dream. However, the Jeep struggles on steep inclines, esp. extended ones. Never had a problem on declines, as I keep my speed very low.
Would appreciate advice on how much tow power is increased with the new Jeep's big eco-diesel over my current gas engine?
My alternative is the wildly touted 2018 Expedition--which is supposed to have a significantly greater tow rating than the JGC's 7,300 lbs. BUT I really LOVE, LOVE my Jeep and am not enthusiastic about driving a much larger Expedition around town.
Pros? Cons? Most: how much stronger is a diesel than a gas engine?
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:12 PM   #2
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The 5.7 is rated at 360 hp, and the 3.0 ecodiesel is rated at 240 hp, so it has 1/3 less power, for whatever use it is put to.
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:24 PM   #3
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There are quite a few threads on this. I had a Grand Cherokee 3.0 ecodiesel, pulling a 3,500 pound boxy travel trailer and it had plenty of power, but it ran hot. Long, gently sloping inclines (NOT "hills", just slight incline so that you could tell you weren't on level ground) caused me to have to slow down from 65 to 60 mph, just to keep from overheating. At 65 mph, the temp gauge would just keep climbing. At 60 mph, it would run close to the limit but would at least stop getting hotter. It had plenty of power to pull my little trailer and it was an awesome daily driver, but the high coolant temp when towing made me nervous so I sold it.

Some others have posted about this issue as well.
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:59 PM   #4
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That 5.7 will blow the doors off the ecodiesel. I drove both when pickup shopping. The ED had power off the line but fell flat on the merge onto I94 at 4:30.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:51 PM   #5
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We had both Ram 5.7 Hemi and Ram 3.0 Ecodiesel. Very similar in performance towing, merging into traffic no problem with either. No problem with overheating with either, including desert heat.

The big difference in performance was the EcoDiesel reaches maximum torque at a lower RPM and has a wider power band. Both easy on fuel. Normal highway travel, Hemi 13 mpg towing, 20 mpg solo. EcoD 17 mpg towing, 30 mpg solo.

Both engines are an excellent match for a mid-size Airstream. I don't know what you mean by "struggles on steep inclines" but if you mean shifting down and moving to a higher rpm for greater power, that's the way it's supposed to work. That's not a problem.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:17 PM   #6
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Jeep eco-diesel vs Expedition

Thanks for the explanations...very helpful. I somehow had gotten the (erroneous) idea that a diesel would tow more efficiently than a gas engine.
Re my statement: "struggles on long, steep inclines", I meant I have to tuck in behind a semi with my flashers on and crawl up at 35-40 mph."Tow Haul" downshifts for me but the RPMs stay elevated. And the temp climbs. The Jeep does have a tow package.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with higher rpm going up grades, that's where the power is for a gas engine without a turbo. Same for going back down, higher rpm to get the compression braking you need. 5000 rpm won't hurt this engine but 3500-4000 was the most I ever needed.

If tow/haul is not shifting down enough for the power you need, shift in down manually, it will also cool better. It's a good engine for this purpose and you've got eight transmission gears to get the most out of it.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
The 5.7 is rated at 360 hp, and the 3.0 ecodiesel is rated at 240 hp, so it has 1/3 less power, for whatever use it is put to.
The relationship is more complex than this but in simple terms, HP correlates with RPM and top speed and torque is what provides pulling power. In that respect, the 3.0 ecodiesel actually has higher torque output than the 5.7 liter Hemi; 420 lb/ft versus 390 lb/ft. Typically, diesels also deliver their torque at lower RPM and their torque power band is wider which makes them ideal for towing.

FWIW, in the 2017 Grand Cherokee, both engines are rated to tow 7400 lbs. Full disclosure; I've never towed with or driven a vehicle with either power plant so I can't say which makes for a better TV in the real world. But on paper, the Ecodiesel should do as well or even better than the Hemi.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:34 AM   #9
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The relationship is more complex than this but in simple terms, HP correlates with RPM and top speed and torque is what provides pulling power. In that respect, the 3.0 ecodiesel actually has higher torque output than the 5.7 liter Hemi; 420 lb/ft versus 390 lb/ft. Typically, diesels also deliver their torque at lower RPM and their torque power band is wider which makes them ideal for towing.

FWIW, in the 2017 Grand Cherokee, both engines are rated to tow 7400 lbs. Full disclosure; I've never towed with or driven a vehicle with either power plant so I can't say which makes for a better TV in the real world. But on paper, the Ecodiesel should do as well or even better than the Hemi.
HP is the rate at which work is done.

If a vehicle is described as struggling up hills, to me that is a power question. It may be that the OP doesn't want to run the engine at sufficient rpm to develop the necessary power.

Torque only matters for starting a load, and even then, available gear ratios make engine torque less important.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:25 AM   #10
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Can you give me a specific example of a hill where you had to climb at 35-40 MPH?

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Old 08-26-2017, 03:40 AM   #11
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HP is the rate at which work is done.

If a vehicle is described as struggling up hills, to me that is a power question. It may be that the OP doesn't want to run the engine at sufficient rpm to develop the necessary power.

Torque only matters for starting a load, and even then, available gear ratios make engine torque less important.
Finally, someone else said it.

240 hp is not enough to climb a steep hill unless you want to do it slowly. Torque is not a measure of power. Power is calculated using torque and rpm.

The merge performance of the Ecodiesel is most definitely not the same as the Hemi. I drove both trucks on the same commute. The power, while adequate to merge on both trucks, was not equal especially at the higher speeds.

I didn't buy either one because of the low payload numbers for both trucks and the very high cost ( both had very nice options though).
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:05 AM   #12
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Finally, someone else said it.

240 hp is not enough to climb a steep hill unless you want to do it slowly. Torque is not a measure of power. Power is calculated using torque and rpm.

The merge performance of the Ecodiesel is most definitely not the same as the Hemi. I drove both trucks on the same commute. The power, while adequate to merge on both trucks, was not equal especially at the higher speeds.

I didn't buy either one because of the low payload numbers for both trucks and the very high cost ( both had very nice options though).
Again we've owned and towed our Airstream with both engines. The performance is very smililar when you put the Airstream behind it. Without the Airstream our Ram Hemi was more of a hot rod, but that's not why we bought either one.

I like the axle load ratings for the Ram 1500's, with a capable weight distribution system they are excellent for an Airstream and a decent load in the truck, all we've ever needed in years of extensive travel throughout the country. Payload number becomes a concern for hauling chores (no trailer), much greater effect on handling, braking, steering axle float and rear axle overload.

The coil springs give us and our Airstream a really nice ride.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:08 AM   #13
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The 5.7 is rated at 360 hp, and the 3.0 ecodiesel is rated at 240 hp, so it has 1/3 less power, for whatever use it is put to.
Horsepower is a elusive thing. Because that 360 hp might only be at 5500 RPM, where you'll never be towing. Torque makes the wheels go 'round.

Without ever looking at the specs, I'd pick the Expedition, because Jeep is one of the 4 lowest rated quality vehicles on J.D. Power. Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Chrysler.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:29 AM   #14
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Thanks for the explanations...very helpful. I somehow had gotten the (erroneous) idea that a diesel would tow more efficiently than a gas engine.
Re my statement: "struggles on long, steep inclines", I meant I have to tuck in behind a semi with my flashers on and crawl up at 35-40 mph."Tow Haul" downshifts for me but the RPMs stay elevated. And the temp climbs. The Jeep does have a tow package.
35-40 isn't "crawling", believe me. It's when one is down to 15-20/mph and is conducting a roadside wildflower survey, which qualifies for that statement, ha!

Part of hitting some grades is a faster approach. Learning how to use transmission. Traffic spacing. Various tactics

Climbing slowly in itself shouldn't be considered a problem where the TV is an otherwise excellent choice for solo duty by size, design (towing is occasional duty; grades even less of an occurrence), so it's just part of the package.

I'll admit to missing passing the VW buses in the Rockies while upslope. It was fun to wave at Mr & Mrs Tiedye Stoner as we continued slowly past them. (They were so "cool" taking a chancy pass around us going up Boulder Canyon, but past Nederland, ha!). Been thirty years now since big block cars "ruled", but it was fun while it lasted. EFI was a game changer. ("Once upon a time, children, it was all about the Big Iron . . . . ").

RVers tend to get bent out of shape at new experiences behind the wheel, thinking X years of solo vehicle commutes counts for something. Were that solo vehicle loaded to the gills EVERY DAY they'd have a wider set of experiences in dealing with traffic, roads, weather. It isn't, thus they don't.

The cars with which we towed forty or fifty years ago slowed on grades, and keeping coolant temps reasonable was a concern. Today's electronically controlled motors can extract more power, and do it over a wider range of gears much more easily. Learning to use what one has IS part of the fun. And it won't feature a bellowing Thermoquad atop a seven-and-a-half liter Chrysler TNT V8. Had to practically shout over that.

With my six speed manual transmission truck (in sig) I expect to drop one or more gears AFTER coming out of OD. From Direct down to Second if need be. And hold there (as I can accelerate while upgrade in Two or Three) for the duration.

I've no desire to burn any extra fuel to accomplish the same task. I don't consider the speed to be a relevant concern. Why would anyone?

As I can accelerate in the right gear choice, I can also make room for others on the far right of the highway by slowing further and/or going around them (getting well ahead). Note this: it's about control, not speed. With the right gear I can alter my speed to accommodate what's happening around me. Only the unwary give up vehicle space around them!

In a semi truck, that "able to accelerate" speed is so low one chooses to avoid it. And strives to maintain what one can (within reason).

Understanding what commercial traffic is doing makes it easier. Avoid getting in front of them AT ALL as the downslope is far harder for them to control.

Temporarily elevated coolant isn't a concern. It's a "natural" occurrence, as it were. Trying to maintain maximum speed may not help that. Duration and distance are separate, the latter is fixed. One works WITH this.

There is usually an "ideal" for steady-state, high engine-demand. 80% is an off-quoted figure for Engine Load. That's a good target for practice.

Getting to the top isn't much of a thing.

Downslope is a whole set of real concerns.

The ones who crow about engine power miss what's important. Reveal their ignorance and/or lack of experience. Speed upslope while the hitch is in tension is worry-free for the most part.

An engine exhaust brake or sophisticated transmission program will neither of them maintain downslope hitch tension. Use of the service brakes is what matters while towing on a downslope.

(And -- of course -- one has already tested the brake controller that it leads the TV; that the lousy stock trailer drum brakes are adjusted properly; etc, etc.)

Maintaining hitch tension downslope is what separates men from boys.

And it's the fools passing you at speeds 25-30/mph faster upslope or downslope who are a threat to all others by wiping out vehicle spacing and in no way respecting speed discrepancies (not to mention that hitch tension problem) who give all RVers a bad name for their ways.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:31 AM   #15
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Without ever looking at the specs, I'd pick the Expedition, because Jeep is one of the 4 lowest rated quality vehicles on J.D. Power. Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Chrysler.
I'm only the messenger.
Keep in mind the OP lives in Florida, tows primarily on flat ground, and really likes his current Jeep.

Sounds to me like a nervousness over using elevated revs on occasional hills. I wouldn't worry about that. The vehicle is very capable.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:38 AM   #16
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. . . because Jeep is one of the 4 lowest rated quality vehicles on J.D. Power. Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Chrysler.
I'm only the messenger.
Well, I'm a user of two Ram 1500's (20 mpg and 30 mpg hwy). Never been in the shop for anything but oil changes in the six years we've owned them. I love J.D.Power, Consumer Reports, and such. They hated our VW's as well. Our 2006 TDI is now into twelve years needing only routine service, no problems (50 mpg hwy).

Some people can break anything, take care of nothing. Then when the surveys call they bitch about the vehicle. When they call us we just hang up on them.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:54 AM   #17
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Horsepower is a elusive thing. Because that 360 hp might only be at 5500 RPM, where you'll never be towing. Torque makes the wheels go 'round.

Without ever looking at the specs, I'd pick the Expedition, because Jeep is one of the 4 lowest rated quality vehicles on J.D. Power. Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Chrysler.
I'm only the messenger.
One shifts into the next gear a few hundred rpm above the HP peak so as to have the engine come back in at a higher rpm. This is what maintains upslope speed at the highest possible. All the way to redline if need be.

It may not be ideal for a given situation, but it almost always is how one starts a steep climb given room to run.

In the Kenworth it's more a matter of the highest gear possible (of 18) to hit the slope thus the highest possible speed as I'll be downshifting almost immediately (250-rpm gear splits).

In a four wheeler, it's some speed, and gear choice. Best rpm at best speed.

TQ only tells one via formula whether the vehicle is geared to climb the hill or not. HP tells one the speed at which that will occur.

One uses the HP to best effect. You WILL wind it out. There's no other way to make power.

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Old 08-26-2017, 02:05 PM   #18
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Kinda surprised by some of the responses!
2015 Grand Cherokee Overland Eco Diesel air suspension, pulling a 2017 FC 23D.
I live in the mountains of VA, and spend two to three months in Montana, more and bigger mountains, zero problems towing up and down! Pulls like a tank!
Have never felt underpowered period! Will a Hemi as was said, blow my doors off, well yeah, so what!
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:20 PM   #19
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I have a 2014 JGC diesel with 50000 miles. I've pulled a 22 ft from centralTexas to Washington State over several mountain passes, even pulled the trailer over the dreaded pass from Oruay to Sliverton, Colorado, all without any issues. As for power, I've never encountered a situation where there was any strain on the engine or power train. I've traversed several small passes using cruse control (at lower than posted speeds - about 5% lower) also without any issues. On the down side of the passes the cruse control keeps the trailer and Jeep under control and within the set speed. We're I to feel the need for another tow vehicle I'd go for another JGC diesel without hesitation. At 50k I feel the engine is just getting in shape for some serious travel.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:02 PM   #20
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Let me start by saying this is ONLY a guess, but I've read differing outcomes people have with the same VM Motori diesel in Grand Cherokees vs RAM 1500 Ecodiesels. I wonder if there's a significant cooling advantage with the RAM? Maybe a larger radiator and/or better flow through it on the RAM? There shouldn't be a big difference in the engine... probably somewhat different intake and exhaust for packaging in the smaller vehicle, though that could make a difference as well.
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